NHL Rumor Mill – April 12, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – April 12, 2021

The Trade Deadline is at 3 pm ET today. Check out the latest on Josh Manson, Rickard Rakell. Mike Hoffman, Jaden Schwartz, Sam Bennett and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE ATHLETIC: Responding to a reader’s question yesterday, Eric Stephens believes the Anaheim Ducks will set a higher asking price for defenseman Josh Manson and winger Rickard Rakell because they each have a year remaining on their respective contracts. He feels the Ducks should seek a first-round pick and a top prospect for each player. Stephens doesn’t know if general manager Bob Murray is shopping Manson and Rakell but he’s getting a lot of calls.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With so many of the top rental players off the market perhaps there will be more interest in Manson and Rakell before the deadline.

STLTODAY.COM: Tom Timmermann reports the Blues’ recent surge back into playoff contention muddies the waters regarding their trade plans. Pending free agent winger Mike Hoffman seemed the most likely trade candidate but that may have changed due to an injury to forward Robert Thomas.

St. Louis Blues winger Mike Hoffman (NHL Images).

It would take a significant offer and pessimism on the part of Blues’ management over contract talks to pry winger Jaden Schwartz loose. Like Hoffman, he’s a UFA this summer. So is center Tyler Bozak, who might be enticing to clubs seeking depth at center. Vince Dunn is a restricted free agent and could be appealing as an offensive defenseman.

Timmermann believes the Blues would seek draft picks to restock their prospect pipeline.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports the Oilers need a left-winger, a second-pairing defenseman and a third-line center. GM Ken Holland, however, doesn’t want to part with a first-round pick or a Grade-A prospect for a rental player. He’s also hampered by limited salary-cap space. Matheson speculates Holland could wait and see if the price drops for pending UFAs such as the Blues’ Mike Hoffman or the Philadelphia Flyers’ Scott Laughton.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Holland could pursue a player or two with term on their contracts. That will require some salary-cap creativity as we saw in the Savard and Foligno trades over the weekend in which a third-team used their cap space to broker a deal.

CALGARY SUN: Wes Gilbertson believes Sam Bennett is the Flames’ most valuable trade chip approaching the deadline. However, the fact he’s still in Calgary over two months following his agent’s public trade request suggests any offers have been underwhelming.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bennett’s a restricted free agent this summer so Flames GM Brad Treliving doesn’t have to move him at the deadline. He could wait for a better offer during the offseason before the Seattle expansion draft.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Chip Alexander reports Carolina Hurricanes GM Don Waddell recently mentioned a right-shot defenseman and an extra forward as trade deadline possibilities. He speculated Waddell may have had discussions with the Ducks about Josh Manson or the Los Angeles Kings about Sean Walker. Both are right-shot defenders with term remaining on their contracts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We know the asking price for Manson could be expensive. The Kings could be reluctant to part with Walker as he’s in the first season of a four-year deal with a $2.65 million annual average value.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski reports the Penguins could be attempting to acquire physical winger Nicolas Deslauriers from the Anaheim Ducks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was reported yesterday the Penguins had acquired Deslauriers but that was subsequently walked back. Perhaps it was because they were in the process of acquiring Jeff Carter from the Kings. We’ll find out later today if they revisit a Deslauriers deal.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks expects a quiet trade deadline for the Rangers. He believes GM Jeff Gorton would listen if he received offers for Ryan Strome, Pavel Buchnevich or Mika Zibanejad to perhaps lay the groundwork for offseason deals. However, they haven’t gotten any such inquires.

Brooks also believes the Rangers could buy out the final season of banished defenseman Tony DeAngelo’s contract this summer if he’s not traded at the deadline or selected by the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft.

THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers and Mark Lazerus report a Chicago Blackhawks source said management is resigned to getting less than expected for forwards Mattias Janmark and Carl Soderberg after seeing the Detroit Red Wings receive only a fifth-round pick from the Montreal Canadiens for Jon Merrill.

The Blackhawks’ cap space remains their hottest commodity for cap-strapped clubs seeking a third-party broker to facilitate a trade. They could also listen to offers for pending RFA defenseman Nikita Zadorov but they aren’t actively shopping him.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Jordan Hall lists Scott Laughton, Michael Raffl and Erik Gustafsson as likely Flyers trade candidates because of their UFA eligibility this summer.

Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere is a fixture in the rumor mill but his $4.5 million annual cap hit over the next two years makes him difficult to move. Hall also doesn’t rule out the possibility of young forward Nolan Patrick as a trade option for a second-round pick.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Mark McIntyre reports Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff won’t mortgage his club’s future for a rental player to bolster his blueline. He does have draft picks to use as trade bait and can add a salary with Bryan Little on long-term injury reserve.

McIntyre believes a rental player is a likely route. He suggested defense targets as New Jersey’s Dmitry Kulikov, Ryan Murray Sami Vatanen, or Ottawa’s rugged Erik Gudbranson. Others include Dallas’ Jamie Oleksiak or Detroit’s Marc Staal.










NHL Rumor Mill – March 4, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – March 4, 2021

Should the Bruins pursue Jack Eichel or revisit their interest in Oliver Ekman-Larsson? Will the Penguins add some toughness before the trade deadline? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

LATEST BRUINS SPECULATION

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss believes the Bruins should be among the first team to contact the Buffalo Sabres if Jack Eichel decides he wants out or if they decide to move him in order to stockpile assets for their ongoing rebuild. However, the Bruins should say no if the asking price is David Pastrnak or Charlie McAvoy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With Patrice Bergeron aging and the possible departure this summer of David Krejci via free agency, Eichel would be a great fit with the Bruins. However, I don’t believe they can come up with a suitable trade package to pry him away from the Sabres if they’re unwilling (as they should be) to part with Pastrnak or McAvoy.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy noted the Bruins’ need for an experienced left-shot defenseman. He suggested Bruins general manager Don Sweeney should revisit his offseason trade discussions with the Arizona Coyotes regarding blueliner Oliver Ekman-Larsson. The Coyotes captain was willing to waive his no-movement clause for the Bruins or Vancouver Canucks but a trade failed to materialize by his self-imposed Oct. 9 deadline.

Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk continues to pop up in trade speculation (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ekman-Larsson’s agent was emphatic his client wasn’t going anywhere after that deadline passed. Maybe the Bruins could revisit those discussions in the offseason. With the Coyotes jockeying for a playoff spot in the Honda West division they’re probably not thinking of becoming sellers right now.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: DJ Bean wonders if the Bruins should go for it this season and fill in the cracks in their roster to improve their chances for a deep playoff run. He points out their roster could have a different look next season if Tuukka Rask and David Krejci depart via free agency this summer.

If the Bruins decide to go for it they’ll need to at least add a top scorer on Krejci’s line. They have $3.62 million in salary-cap space. They could be unwilling to part with their 2021 first-round pick and their prospect pool is unimpressive. Bean suggests inconsistent winger Jake DeBrusk could be an interesting trade candidate, though there is the risk that he could blossom on another club.

Bean also noted the Bruins could use an experience left-side defenseman, pointing out Nashville Predators blueliner Mattias Ekholm could be available.

THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa reports one NHL assistant general manager claims the Bruins haven’t made DeBrusk available. Another NHL source, however, can see the 24-year-old winger being moved.

Shinzawa points to DeBrusk being bounced around the lineup and a five-game stretch sidelined by a lower-body injury as factors affecting his disappointing performance this season. He feels the Bruins should get back a like-minded forward or a left-shot defenseman if they decide to put DeBrusk on the block.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeBrusk has been a fixture in the rumor mill since the offseason but Sweeney has stuck with him. The Bruins GM might be able to bring in a decent second-line rental player by the trade deadline without having to part with DeBrusk to do so. Finding a top scorer for Krejci’s line or an established top-four left-side rearguard, however, could be difficult without giving up something worthwhile in return.

WILL THE PENGUINS ADD TOUGHNESS AT THE TRADE DEADLINE?

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski cites Penguins director of hockey operations Brian Burke hinting his club could make a move or two before the April 12 trade deadline. “That’s the goal, to see if we can add this year. See how far we can get with this group. Yes, the team is getting older. The stars are getting older. But since I’ve been here, they’ve all been excellent,” said Burke.

Penguins GM Ron Hextall last Saturday admitted he’d like to add some toughness after Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson injured Pens forward Mark Jankowski with a hit during a recent game. Hextall said his club would look into it if a suitable player could be found but there aren’t many available around the league.

Kingerski listed Ottawa’s Austin Watson, Anaheim’s Nicolas Deslauriers and Detroit’s Luke Glendening as three options that could address that need.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We know Burke likes an element of truculence on his rosters. Acquiring one of those players listed by Kingerski shouldn’t cost very much provided they’re available.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 16, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 16, 2020

The Kings upset the Avalanche in their Stadium Series matchup, Evander Kane blasts the NHL department of player safety, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Tyler Toffoli’s hat trick power the Los Angeles Kings to a 3-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche as part of the 2020 NHL Stadium Series before a sellout crowd of 43,574 at Falcon Stadium at the United States Air Force Academy. Toffoli becomes the first player in league history to tally three goals in an NHL outdoor game. Avalanche goalie Philipp Grubauer left the game in the third period with a lower-body injury. With the loss, the Avalanche (72 points) slipped to third place in the Central Division.

Tyler Toffoli’s hat trick gave the LA Kings a 3-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche in their 2020 NHL Stadium Series game (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Long rumored on the trade block, Toffoli’s hat trick performance could boster his value leading up to the Feb. 24 trade deadline.

The Boston Bruins picked up their eighth win in their last nine games by beating the Detroit Red Wings 4-1. David Pastrnak tallied his 42nd goal of the season while Brad Marchand collected two assists for the Bruins (84 points). They remain one point ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning for first place in the overall standings.

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy extended his franchise-record points streak to 21 games in a 5-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, and Victor Hedman each collected two points as the Lightning stretched their winning streak to 10 games. The Flyers hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 71 points.

Auston Matthews tallied his 42nd of the season as the Toronto Maple Leafs doubled up the Ottawa Senators 4-2. The Leafs (70 points) hold a four-point lead over the Florida Panthers for third in the Atlantic Division. Matthews and Pastrnak are tied for first place in the NHL goal-scoring race.

Mikael Granlund’s third-period goal held up as the game-winner as the Nashville Predators edged the St. Louis Blues 4-3. Kyle Turris had a goal and two assists as the Predators (63 points) remain three points out of a Western Conference wild-card spot. The Blues (74 points) have dropped four straight and hold a one-point lead over the surging Dallas Stars for the top spot in the Conference.

Tyler Seguin scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Dallas Stars overcame a 3-0 deficit to nip the Montreal Canadiens 4-3. Habs head coach Claude Julien voiced his displeasure over the poor officiating during a post-game interview, which could earn him disciplinary action from the league. The Canadiens (62 points) have dropped four straight and sit eight points behind the Leafs in the Atlantic Division.

Edmonton Oilers winger Kailer Yamamoto scored and set up two others in a 4-1 win over the slumping Florida Panthers. Leon Drasaitl (92 points) picked up two points to extend his lead in the scoring race by 10 over the Bruins’ David Pastrnak. The Oilers (68 points) are one point behind the Pacific Division-leading Vancouver Canucks.

Mark Andre Fleury posted a 19-save shutout as the Vegas Golden Knights blanked the New York Islanders 1-0. Reilly Smith was the goal-scorer as the Golden Knights (68 points) hold third place in the Pacific Division. With 72 points, the Isles cling to third place in the Metropolitan Division.

Third-period goals by Phil Kessel and Lawson Crouse gave the Arizona Coyotes a 3-1 win over the Washington Capitals. Antti Raanta picked up the victory with 36 saves for the Coyotes (66 points), who hold the final Western Conference wild-card spot. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin failed to score for the fourth straight game, leaving him two goals shy of 700 for his career.

The Chicago Blackhawks thumped the Calgary Flames 8-4. Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews lead the way with each collecting a goal and two assists. Elias Lindholm and Sam Bennett each scored twice for the Flames (66 points), who hold the first wild-card berth in the Western Conference. The Blackhawks (60 points) picked up their first win in six games, but remain six points behind the Flames and Coyotes.

San Jose Sharks netminder Martin Jones kicked out 39 shots to shut out the Minnesota Wild 2-0. Dylan Gambrell and Melker Karlsson were the goal scorers. It was the Wild’s first game under interim coach Dean Evason. With 61 points, they’re five behind the Coyotes.

HEADLINES

ESPN.COM: Thousands of fans missed a portion of the Kings-Avalanche Stadium Series game owing to a major traffic jam. Many left before the game’s conclusion. It took some fans over four hours to reach the stadium.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes will host a 2021 NHL Stadium Series game at N.C. State’s Carter-Finley Stadium on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021. Their opponent has yet to be determined.

NBC SPORTS: San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane blasted the NHL’s department of player safety over its inconsistencies in handing down supplemental discipline after receiving a three-game suspension for elbowing. Kane released a public statement singling out player safety head George Parros. He also cited examples where similar infractions by others went unpunished or received lighter penalties.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane’s critics will accuse him of whining, but he’s making a fair point. The department of player safety’s sometimes erratic decisions has left more than a few fans and pundits puzzled and sometimes outraged. It’s also believed many players share Kane’s views, though he’s the first to publicly criticize the department in this manner.

SPORTSNET: Speaking of the Sharks, their crappy season got worse as defenseman Erik Karlsson is out for the season with a broken thumb.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets center Brian Little is also finished for the season because of a damaged eardrum he suffered in November. He’ll undergo surgery with an expected three-month recovery period.

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian was assigned to his club’s AHL affiliate in Rochester after clearing waivers yesterday.

SPORTSNET: The Anaheim Ducks re-sign forward Nicolas Deslauriers to a two-year, $2-million contract extension.










Notable NHL Player Movement – June 30, 2019

Notable NHL Player Movement – June 30, 2019

With the start of the NHL free-agent market fast approaching, here’s a look at today’s notable player movement.

The Montreal Canadiens trade winger Andrew Shaw and a seventh-round pick in 2021 to the Chicago Blackhawks. In return, the Canadiens receive a second- and a seventh-round pick in the 2020 draft and a third-round pick in 2021. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Can you say, “salary dump”, kids? I knew you could because that’s what this is. Shaw, 27, has three years remaining on his contract (stick tap to Cap Friendly) at an annual average value of $3.9 million. The Canadiens now have over $12 million in salary-cap room. It’s believed this move sets the stage for what could be one or two significant roster additions via trade or (most likely) free agency tomorrow.

Shaw, meanwhile, returns to the club where he began his NHL career, helping the Blackhawks win two Stanley Cups (2013, 2015). A physical checking-line winger with a decent scoring touch, his style of play has also taken a toll on his body. He was frequently sidelined over the past three seasons. 

The Canadiens also traded forward Nicolas Deslauriers to the Anaheim Ducks for a 2020 fourth-round draft pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s an additional $950K off the Habs books. They’re also loading up on draft picks for the 2020 Draft. They now have 12 picks, including two in the second round, four in the fourth, and two in the fifth. Some of those could be used as trade bait in other deals. 

The Florida Panthers trade goaltender James Reimer to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for goaltender Scott Darling and a sixth-round draft pick. The Panthers placed Darling on waivers to buy out his contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reimer is signed through 2020-21 with an annual average value of $3.4 million. With the Hurricanes attempting to re-sign Petr Mrazek and Curtis McElhinney expected to depart tomorrow via free agency, Reimer could be filling the backup role. However, The News & Observer’s Luke DeCock says Reimer’s time with the Canes could be short. “Other potential moves in works,” he said. Stay tuned.

Florida Panthers trade James Reimer to the Carolina Hurricanes (Photo via NHL Images).

Darling had two years left on his contract with a $4.1 million AAV. Given his struggles over the past two years, he no longer had a future with the Hurricanes and doesn’t fit into the Panthers’ goaltending plans. Cap Friendly has the breakdown of the buyout.  

The Edmonton Oilers placed defenseman Andrej Sekera on unconditional waivers for a contract buyout. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sekera, 33, had two years remaining on his deal worth $5.5 million annually. You can see the breakdown of the buyout here.  This move comes as a surprise. Oilers GM Ken Holland had indicated he’d prefer keeping Sekera around. Looks like Holland wants the cap space for other moves. 

The Philadelphia Flyers placed defenseman David Schlemko on unconditional waivers as a precursor to buying out his contract. The 32-year-old had a year remaining on his deal at $2.1 million. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 19, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 19, 2018

Latest notable injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

Calgary Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk sidelined by a minor lower-body injury. (Photo via NHL Images)

  CALGARY SUN: Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk will miss today’s exhibition game in China against the Boston Bruins with a minor lower-body injury. He could’ve played but is being held out of the lineup as a precautionary measure.

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres winger Conor Sheary is listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury. Center Sean Malone injured his knee and will miss six weeks. Defenseman Matt Hunwick is sidelined indefinitely with a neck injury.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens forward Nicolas Deslauriers is out indefinitely after suffering a facial fracture during a fight in a preseason game against New Jersey’s Brandon Braddock.

CBS SPORTS: New York Rangers forward Boo Nieves has suffered a concussion.

COURIER-POST: Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Alex Lyon missed yesterday’s preseason game against the New York Islanders with a lower-body injury.

THE SCORE: The NHL and Jagermeister has entered into a one-year deal making the liqueur the league’s “official shot.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jagermeister: For those who want booze that tastes like cough medicine.

 

 

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 18, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 18, 2018

Panthers name Aleksander Barkov as captain, Oilers re-sign Darnell Nurse, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: The Florida Panthers yesterday named Aleksander Barkov as their new team captain. The 23-year-old center becomes the 10th (and youngster) captain in franchise history.

Florida Panthers name Aleksander Barkov as their new captain. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A good choice by the Panthers. Despite being hampered by injuries in his five NHL seasons, Barkov has matured into the Panthers’ top forward. In 2017-18, he set career highs in assist (51) and points (78) and was a finalist for the Selke Trophy as the league’s best defensive forward.

Barkov’s work ethic and lead-by-example style earned praise from his teammates and coaches. With the Panthers poised to become legitimate playoff contender, he’s the right guy to lead them. 

EDMONTON SUN: The Oilers yesterday re-signed defenseman Darnell Nurse to a two-year bridge contract worth $6.4 million. The annual average value is $3.2 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dollars, not term, was the reason behind the contract standoff. Nurse’s representatives valued him at over $4 million annually while the Oilers put it at under $3.5 million.

With the Winnipeg Jets inking Josh Morrissey to a two-year, $6.3-million bridge deal, the market value was set. Should Nurse continue to develop as projected, he’ll be in line for a substantial raise on his next contract. 

THE SCORE: Montreal Canadiens forward Nicolas Deslauriers was taken to hospital as a precaution and for further testing after leaving the second period of last night’s preseason game against the New Jersey Devils with an upper-body injury. The Canadiens rallied in the third period with three unanswered goals to defeat the Devils 3-1.

CBS SPORTS: Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Travis Sanheim will be sidelined one week with an upper-body injury.

USA TODAY: Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan has taken a leave of absence following the death of his father on Saturday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Sullivan, his family and the Penguins’ organization. 

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators yesterday names Peter MacTavish as their new assistant general manager. He had been working as a recruiter and agent for CAA Hockey. 

NHL.COM: The Columbus Blue Jackets names Jarred Boll as an assistant development coach while Fedor Tyutin joins their scouting staff.